Millions of people flock to zoos all over the country to catch a glimpse of animals not native to North America. Where else can one watch a lion lay in the warm sun in close proximity to penguins diving into arctic depths? Zoos are renowned for housing exotic species, housing special events and employing animal-rearing experts, and the following are some of the more acclaimed zoos in the United States and Canada.

• San Diego Zoo & Safari Park: This 100-acre, southern California zoo features more than 650 species and subspecies of animals and is perhaps best known for its giant pandas. The beautiful San Diego weather also helps make this a popular vacation and recreation destination.

• Dallas Zoo: The largest zoo in Texas, the Dallas Zoo is laid out across 106 acres. Its Wilds of Africa exhibit was the first in the world to include every major African-continent habitat.

• Columbus Zoo: Some 575 species from around the world call the Columbus Zoo home. At 580 acres, the Columbus Zoo, which is wellknown for its exhibits and conservation efforts, is one of the largest zoos in the United States.

• St. Louis Zoo: While not the largest zoo, the St. Louis Zoo boasts one of the most impressive penguin habitats in the country. It’s also one of the few zoos to offer free entry.

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